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Universal Music v. Cooper

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Citation Edit

Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v. Cooper, [2005] FCA 972 (full-text).

Federal Court Proceedings Edit

The operator of the website were found to have infringed the Australian copyrights of record companies in that country by linking to other sites from which unauthorized copies of recordings could be downloaded. The website operator, an Australian named Stephen Cooper, was not found liable for copying recordings s himself, or for “communicating” recordings to the public.

Instead, Justice Brian Tamberlin ruled that Cooper violated a provision of the Australian Copyright Act that makes it an infringement to “authorise” any act, in Australia, that infringes copyright. Cooper “authorised” infringements by users of his website and by operators of other websites that made infringements available, Justice Tamerlin concluded, because “authorise” has been defined in Australia to include “sanction, approve [and] countenance.” And the links and language on Cooper’s website did those things.

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